Markets Advance During Holiday-Shortened Session

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"There was a better-than-expected durable goods report this morning, and home sales were pretty solid, but overall, we are simply seeing a nice continuation of the positive momentum that began last week, after the Fed announced plans to taper," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) , S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished the abbreviated session with another round of technical milestones.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

plus...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,357.55) spent yet another session north of breakeven, and tagged an all-time intraday peak of 16,360.60 just ahead of the close. The blue-chip index ended up finishing 62.9 points, or 0.4%, higher -- notching yet another record closing high (its 49th of the year). The Dow's 26 advancers were led by E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co ( DD ) -- which gained 1.7% -- while UnitedHealth Group Inc. ( UNH ) paced the three laggards with a drop of 0.3%. The Procter & Gamble Company ( PG ) remained unchanged.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,833.32) also ended the session in the green, up 5.3 points, or 0.3%, by day's end -- notching an all-time intraday and closing high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,155.42) reached a 13-year intraday peak of 4,155.62, and advanced 6.5 points, or 0.2%, for the session.


Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.48) continued to trek lower, and shed 0.6 point, or 4.3%, on the day.

CLOSING SUMMARY - INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY - NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take :

"It was a slow day as expected, with many market participants out of the office or with one foot out the door for the Christmas holiday," mused Bell. "With a lack of any major news, it was nice to see the market stay the course, with most sectors finishing in the green."

5 Items on Our Radar Today :

  1. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose by 3.5% in November, besting consensus expectations for a rise of just 2%. Stripping out transportation, orders climbed by 1.2% -- the biggest increase since May. (Reuters via CNBC)
  2. New home sales dropped by 2.1% last month to a seasonally adjusted yearly pace of 464,000, according to the Commerce Department. However, the latest figure still exceeded the 440,000 forecasted by economists. (MarketWatch)
  3. The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) house price index edged up 0.5% in October, which fell in line with economists' projections. On a year-over-year basis, prices surged 8.2%. (Bloomberg)
  4. Option bulls pounced on Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) , despite the security's lackluster 2013 price action.
  5. Oracle Corporation ( ORCL ) saw an unusual surge in call buying, as the stock touched a new multi-year high.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS - NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS - NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities :

Crude futures were poised to finish today's session higher. At last check, the February contract had added 29 cents, or 0.3%, at $99.20 per barrel. Oil futures will stop trading at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, gold futures settled higher at 12:30 p.m. ET, with February-dated gold up $6.30, or 0.5%, at $1,203.30 an ounce.

SCHAEFFER'S MARKET POSTURE



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Options

Referenced Stocks: DD , ORCL , PG , TSLA , UNH

Schaeffer's Investment Research

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